Back in July, Google launched the new Nexus 7 tablet, shaving two millimeters and 50 grams from its predecessor, while adding a rear-facing camera and a high definition display. The updated Nexus 7 gained positive reviews from critics and has arguably become the most popular alternative to Apple’s iPad Mini.
However, a challenger approaches in the form of LG’s new 8.3-inch G Pad. Though slightly larger than the Nexus 7, both are formidable small-sized Android tablets that are sure to increase in popularity as the holiday shopping season approaches.
The Nexus 7 measures 7.9 inches tall by 4.5 inches wide and is 0.3 inches thick. It weighs 0.69 pounds and is available in black only. Its upgraded LCD screen packs 1920 x 1200 pixels at 323 PPI.
Beneath the high definition display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz. The 2013 Nexus 7 has 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, and a 3,950 mAh battery.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is 8.54 inches tall, 4.98 inches wide, and 0.33 inches thick. It weighs slightly more than the Nexus 7 at 0.75 pounds. It will be offered in both black and white. Its screen is also rated at 1920 x 1200 pixels – but it falls behind with only 273 PPI.
Under the G Pad’s hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz. It has 2GB of RAM but only a 16GB internal memory option. However, the memory can be expanded up to 64GB via the microSD slot – something that is missing from the Nexus 7. The G Pad also comes with a larger 4,600 mAh battery.
The Nexus 7 has one clear advantage over the G Pad 8.3. It ships with Android 4.3, and being a Nexus device, it will be one of the first tablets to receive updates directly from Google. The G Pad will come with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
The new Nexus 7 posted an AnTuTu benchmark score of 19,131. However, the LG G Pad bested it with a score of 22,512.
The G Pad also comes with some interesting software features that aren’t included with the Nexus’ stock version of Android. It shares the same “KnockON” feature as the LG G2, which allows a user to tap the screen to wake up the device. SlideAside allows the G Pad to run three apps at once, giving the user the option to three-finger swipe between them. There is also a very robust smartphone pairing feature called QPair.
“[QPair] pairs the Optimus G Pad with an Android smartphone, even a non-LG phone” said GSM Arena. “QPair will display notifications from the phone on the tablet like incoming calls or messages and even let you respond. You can [also] open a tab in the browser or an image in the gallery on the phone and then transfer it to the tablet. This works for any app that's installed on both devices.”
GSM Arena continued: “Any QMemos you scribble to on the tablet are synced on the phone as well, and you get a one-click option to toggle the Wi-Fi hotspot on the phone and share its Internet connection with the G Pad.”
The 16GB version of the Nexus 7 is a mere $229, but rumors indicate that the G Pad 8.3 will cost only $299. Pricing and a firm release date are still unknown, but it is expected to arrive before the end of September.
If the $299 price tag proves to be true, the LG G Pad 8.3 might be a better option for holiday shoppers. It may not be a Nexus device, but its slightly better specs, performance, and additional software make it a worthy challenger to the Nexus 7.